3-29-2003

Title: #3 April Fools
Series: The Holiday Series
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: Mar. 28, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai, Fluff, Sap, Romance, Holiday Fic
Pairing: 1+2
Rated: PG
Warnings: OOC, Swearing, slight Relena-bashing
Archives: At Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves; anyone else, please ask.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: Third in the Holiday Series (follows "White Day Chocolate"). Post-EW. AC 198, the guys are working as Preventers.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene/POV change

Author's Notes: Feedback is appreciated.

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"You sure?" Duo asked, still cuddled in Heero's arms on the couch despite the fact that the movie they'd been "watching" had been over for quite some time now.

"Mm-hmm," Heero answered, pressing a kiss to Duo's temple. "We didn't tell them at first because we wanted to have some time to get comfortable with this ourselves before dealing with everyone else's reactions to it. But I don't want to hide this now that we *are*."

"Okay," Duo agreed contentedly. He was a little surprised that Q at least hadn't guessed already, actually. But everyone had just assumed that *he* had bought Chocolate himself and had moved in with Heero purely to keep the dog. He'd thought he'd choke trying to keep from laughing the day that he heard Wufei commiserating with Heero over Duo's thoughtlessness in buying a pet he couldn't keep in his apartment then expecting Heero to just let him move in, dog and all.

He didn't know how Heero managed to keep a straight face as he accepted Wufei's condolences. It definitely was funny how everyone else seemed to think he would be a noisy, inconsiderate slob to live with. Everybody except Heero, that is, who knew better. He wasn't a neat freak by a long shot, but he liked things kept comfortably tidy. And while he might crank the livingroom stereo up loud enough to hear it while he cleaned the bathroom, he certainly didn't run it that loud *all* the time.

"Y'know, 'Ro, I bet they're all going to be surprised and disbelieving... We could *really* mess with their minds by waiting a few days to tell them..." Duo said thoughtfully.

"Why?" Heero asked curiously.

"Because then it'll be April Fool's Day," Duo explained. "And if we don't actually *tell* them, just sort of *show* them that we're dating..."

Heero snickered, "They'll think we're trying to trick them and keep insisting they don't believe us..."

"Exactly," Duo grinned, tilting his head to look up at Heero. "And they'll end up making April Fools out of *themselves*..."

"It'll be the best April Fool's prank you've ever pulled on them and they'll do all the work," Heero grinned back, swooping down for an enthusiastic kiss. "I like it. It's just too bad Relena's away at a conference - *her* reaction would be even *funnier*..."

***

Heero smirked as Wufei's motorcycle pulled into the parking lot and Wufei climbed off of it. This was going to be fun. "Ready?" he asked Duo.

Duo smirked back at him, "Aren't I always?"

Heero just smiled in return and pulled Duo across the seat towards him with one arm, burying the fingers of his other hand in the hair framing Duo's face and planting a deep, passionate kiss on his lips. He almost forgot why they were engaging in such a blatant display in the Preventers parking lot, he became so caught up in the attempt to map every millimetre of Duo's mouth, both inside and out, with his tongue.

"Good morning, Y... Yuy?!"

Smirking against Duo's lips at the shocked yelp from behind him, Heero drew back, breaking off the kiss, then pressed a quick peck to the tip of Duo's nose in apology for the abrupt ending. "Good morning, Chang," he answered in a completely matter-of-fact tone, as if Wufei had not just caught him engaged in a passionate lip-lock with his housemate/partner/best friend in the front seat of his car in the Preventers parking lot.

"Morning, 'Fei!" Duo said brightly, wiggling his fingers in a cheery wave at the undoubtedly shocked face looking through the open door behind Heero.

Heero ignored the wordless sputtering of their Chinese friend as he climbed out of the car and locked it. "Are we still supposed to all be meeting Quatre for lunch at that new Mexican place around noon?" he asked Duo as if they hadn't already discussed the matter earlier.

"Actually, Q said he might be done his meeting before that, so he may meet us here instead and we can all decide where we want to go then. That Mexican place didn't get a very good review from his secretary who ate there a few days ago," Duo answered.

They walked towards the building together, leaving Wufei to trail in behind them, thoroughly confused by their behaviour. 'And the day has just begun...' Heero thought mischievously.

***

Duo walked up to the coffee machine, then spotted Heero on his way there as well. 'And Tro's just started up this way too,' he thought with a grin. Time for another little show. Something more subtle since they *were* in the office, after all. He filled his coffee mug, then waited. "Hey, Tro. How's your day goin'?" he asked when Trowa joined him.

"Lousy..." Trowa grumbled. "Quatre set every clock in the place an hour ahead this morning, then woke me up 'upset' that the alarm hadn't gone off and I wasn't on my way out the door. I raced around trying to get ready and he was just *so* helpful, handing me mismatched socks and an inside-out shirt. He even 'accidentally' put hair gel on my toothbrush instead of toothpaste."

Duo snickered, "Guess he got you good, Tro. When did you find out he was pranking you?"

"When I went flying out the front door, still trying to get my shirt buttoned - *after* turning it right-side out, that is - and discovered that Rashid was busy washing the car. *He* asked me why I was leaving over half an hour before my usual departure time and - did I realize that I had a neon-orange and green paisley tie on? Quatre put it on for me while I was gulping down a cup of coffee and I never even *looked* at it," Trowa said, sounding very thoroughly disgruntled.

Partway through Trowa's recitation, Heero had joined them at the coffee machine. Duo stepped in front of him and leaned back against his chest, holding up his mug in silent offering. Heero's hand joined his, wrapping around the mug from the opposite side and raising it to take a sip.

Trowa's visible eye widened and he blinked, looking startled.

"Q really got Tro good today," Duo told Heero. He shifted his mug back over, Heero still grasping it too, and took a sip himself.

Trowa's gaze followed the mug disbelievingly as Heero raised it to take another drink, Duo's hand still holding it as well.

"So, is he going to still be meeting us for lunch or did you do something in retaliation that may change his plans?" Heero asked Trowa.

Trowa blinked, then answered, "Oh, he's still meeting us. Rashid wouldn't let me get even properly, I'm sure. I think Quatre may be properly remorseful after he spends a few nights sleeping by himself."

"Ouch. That's a low blow," Duo winced. "Rashid *did* stop you from coming in like that, after all, and I'm sure Q put him up to it."

"Because Quatre didn't want me speeding in thinking I was late. I know, I know," Trowa sighed. "Don't worry about Quatre, Duo. Leaving him to sleep alone would be just as hard on me, so it's not likely to happen. I just intend to make him *think* it will..." he smirked. "Cathy's going to show up for lunch and talk about what time I want to be picked up at and how she needs to know how much luggage I intend to drag along so she knows whether she needs to borrow a truck to haul it all."

"Ooo, good one..." Duo grinned. "She's going to have to be *awful* convincing if Q's gonna buy that, but it just might work." He glanced at his watch and sighed. "Oh well, guess it's time to get back to the grind. See ya, Tro." He leaned back against Heero again and turned his head to look at him, murmuring softly, "See ya later, love."

Heero smiled and took one last sip from Duo's mug before releasing it, gently stroking the back of Duo's hand as he did so. He murmured, "Later, koi," as Duo straightened away from him and started back to his own desk. Duo very carefully did *not* look at Trowa, knowing that the look on his friend's face after witnessing *that* little exchange was liable to make him burst out laughing. 'Two down, one to go...' he grinned to himself.

***

Hearing Quatre's voice, Heero smirked and wondered what he and Duo would come up with for *this* friend. Trowa's expression during their little display at the coffee machine had been absolutely priceless. It was a tossup whether his or Wufei's reaction had been more entertaining.

"Ready, 'Ro?" Duo asked, peeking around the corner of his cubicle.

Heero echoed Duo's comment earlier that day, "Aren't I always?"

Duo snickered in response and held out his hand, raising one eyebrow quizzically. Heero grinned in response and threaded his fingers through Duo's as they headed off to join their friends.

He managed not to smirk as they approached the small group waiting for them. Quatre and Cathy had obviously been briefed on what Wufei and Trowa had witnessed earlier because they were both watching them like hawks as they approached. Heero saw the exact second that they noticed he and Duo were holding hands. Cathy's eyebrows shot up and Quatre's eyes went wide in surprise.

"So, where are we eating?" Duo asked innocently.

Heero managed not to snicker as Quatre stuttered a few times before finally managing to say, "That Italian place next door..."

"Sounds good," Heero commented. After a moment of silence while everyone just stood and gawked at him and Duo and their joined hands, he raised one eyebrow and said, "We *do* only have an hour for lunch, remember?"

"Uh, yes, of course," Quatre said, turning and heading towards the elevator and nearly running into the coatrack on the way.

Heero exchanged a triumphant look with Duo while everyone's backs were turned to them. Duo squeezed his hand and grinned. Heero returned the pressure and wondered whether a kiss in the elevator would be going a little overboard. As the elevator doors closed behind their group, he decided he didn't really care if it *was*. Those full, tender lips were just too damn tempting...

***

Duo finished loading up his salad plate from the salad bar and headed back to the table side by side with Heero. 'That kiss in the elevator might have been a little over-the-top,' he thought. 'For a minute there I thought Cathy was going to hyperventilate. But *damn* was it worth it... Heero is one *hell* of a good kisser...' And Heero was really getting into this whole April Fool's Day joke on the guys, too. He hadn't really expected Heero to be so willing to show off their relationship in public. Hadn't really thought they'd do much more than a little hand-holding, maybe a peck on the cheek or two. Discovering otherwise was a pleasant surprise.

"Yuy and Maxwell together?! I don't believe it," Wufei muttered, his voice rising enough for Duo to pick out his words as they approached the table. "This must be an elaborate joke on us. I, for one, am just going to pretend that I don't notice a thing."

Duo glanced sideways at Heero, spotting the mischievous look on his face with something between glee and foreboding. Obviously, he was taking Wufei's remark as a challenge. Maybe Heero was having a little *too* much fun with this... Originally, he'd hoped he wouldn't push things too far and embarrass Heero. Now, he just hoped Heero didn't end up going too far and embarrassing *him*!

***

Heero picked up a couple of folders and headed off to Duo's cubicle. He wanted to make sure he was okay. He had a feeling he'd started making him a bit nervous at lunch. Feeding Duo a few bites off of his plate and stealing a few bites off of Duo's in return had - he thought - been okay, but when he'd started to reach over to pop the last bite of his cherry turnover in Duo's mouth, he'd seen the flicker of unease in his eyes and had set it on his plate instead. He'd been pushing pretty hard to get a reaction out of Wufei, who was equally determined *not* to react.

"Hey there," Heero said gently as he set the folders down in Duo's Inbox.

"Uh - hi," Duo said in response. He lifted his eyes to meet Heero's a bit nervously. "Uh, Heero..."

Heero winced at the nervousness. "I'm sorry," he said, startled to hear Duo saying the same thing simultaneously. He moved around to perch on the corner of the desk near Duo and reached out to gently stroke his fingers over Duo's hair, smoothing a few stray bits and tucking them back into the braid. "I know what *I'm* apologizing for," he said softly. "For getting so caught up in trying to provoke a reaction out of Wufei that I didn't notice I was making you uncomfortable. What do you think that you have to apologize for?"

"For *being* uncomfortable," Duo admitted. "I mean, I like sharing our food and feeding each other like that at home, in private. It might even be okay if we were at a restaurant alone together in a back booth or something. It just seems a little too intimate to do right in the middle of a restaurant, during lunch hour rush, in front of everybody. Just one bite or so would have been okay, I think, but you kept doing it... And I kinda started to feel like - well, like you were making getting a reaction out of 'Fei into a mission and you wouldn't give up till you *did* and that that was more important than what we were actually doing..."

Heero winced again. "You should have said something, koi," he said gently. "I *was* getting caught up in it, but I thought that you were too. I wish I'd realized sooner that I was going too far and making you uncomfortable."

Duo sighed and gave Heero a faint smile, "You quit as soon as you did. And you're right, I should have let you know as soon as it started to bother me. So, I guess we both messed up a little, huh?"

"We did," Heero agreed. "I won't accept your apology for being uncomfortable, you have every right to feel that way. But I *will* accept it for not letting me *know* that you were uncomfortable."

"And I accept yours for not noticing that I was uncomfortable," Duo answered.

"Good," Heero said, sliding off the corner of the desk. He dropped a light kiss on top of Duo's head before commenting, "I think we've made our point for today. Let's just act like we intend to in future from here on out. It will just surprise everyone even more when we *keep* acting like that after today."

"Sounds like a plan," was Duo's quick response. Heero was glad to hear the lighter tone back in Duo's voice and to see the nervousness and discomfort gone from his expression.

"See you later then," Heero said, squeezing Duo's shoulder firmly and pressing a quick kiss to his cheek before leaving the cubicle. 'Almost made *myself* the April Fool,' he thought on his way back to his own desk. He was just glad he hadn't done serious damage to his still-developing relationship with Duo as a result of his foolishness.

***

Duo threw the ball again for Chocolate, praising the eager dog profusely as he pranced back and proudly dropped it at his master's feet. It had been a long day today and Duo was glad it was almost over with. The day had started off well, turned a little bumpy near the middle, then smoothed back out again. Spending some time playing with Chocolate while Heero fixed supper was helping him dispel the last of the tension lingering from that bumpy bit. He wasn't mad at Heero about it - they'd both been a little bit at fault and their apologies were done and over with. There was just a little lingering embarrassment over the whole episode. But despite that, he could hardly wait to see their friends' expressions tomorrow when today's hand-holding and so on proved *not* to be an April Fool's Day joke. Though he didn't think they'd get *quite* so carried away again with showing their relationship off in public. They'd been a little too close to making April Fools out of *themselves* as it was.